ERIC Number: ED241867
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Loved Ones: Aging Parents and Their Favorite Children.
Aldous, Joan; And Others
Despite the cultural norm that parents should love their children equally, parents do differ in their preferential treatment toward their children. To obtain information about the characteristics of the loved ones and the loving ones in parent child relationships among aging parents and adult children, 124 couples (in which the men graduated from a large Catholic university between 1936-1940) were interviewed about the kind and number of contacts they had with their children who had left home. In addition, each spouse separately completed a questionnaire on sociometric issues and feelings about their relationship with their children. An analysis of the results showed that gender was more important than spatial closeness in determining the loved and loving child in a family. However, proximity had a strong positive and enforcing effect in the adult daughter's contact with her parents. Parents' satisfaction with the relationship was not gender specific and competing loyalties were important in determining relationship frequency and intimacy. Disagreement with children had a negative influence on the relationship, with the loved and loving children having very few disagreements with their parents, particularly in regard to the child's treatment of siblings. Fathers' attitudes were related to which child received the most comfort and sympathy, while mothers' attitudes were related to who gave the most comfort and sympathy. Overall, the majority of loved and loving children were first or second born, had no disagreements with fathers, lived less than 50 miles from parents, and were female. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Adult Children; Parent Favoritism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (St. Paul, MN, October 11-15, 1983).